Thursday, November 1, 2012

Frustration Mounts

NYC has become something ugly in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy.  A gas truck rolled up to one of the few functioning gas stations in Brooklyn and cars immediately lined; a fight broke out between several people trying to edge one another out in this gas line. Now cops are needed to police gas stations.  Decency has gone out the window and everyone is out for themselves.

This is what happens when an overcrowded city is strained by a natural disaster past its ability to support its population. People will die.

Interestingly the Gadsen Times has a nice article on the current state of NYC.


Rose said...

I hope you guys stay safe. Many times disasters bring out the best in people. I was hoping that would be the case here.

People are sending help, and goods - food, water, etc.

But we're reading that teams of people who are coming in to help are being turned away because they're not Union.

Ex-Dissident said...

I believe that. I saw something like this after 9/11. FEMA arrived after about 5 or 6 days. When they came it became some weird sort of turf war but it was also clear that there was no one to rescue anymore. The Red Cross also got booted out at that point. I went home, and they started to tend to the triage area that we had set up right outside the World Trade Center. I did form some friendships with other medical people, police, and firefighters. By the 6th day though, I was tired and I no longer cared who ran the triage area. It was no longer a rescue mission. There was still so much good will expressed by people in and around NY.

This is different. People are angry and they take their anger out on one another. We have changed.

The roads are clean enough. There is plenty of food around. Many people want to help themselves, but it becomes very difficult to do without fuel. You become stuck. And the reasons that there is no fuel are partly administrative and partly chaotic. I believe those folks who are handling the fuel processing and delivery are being just as idiotic as the administrators in my hospital. Maybe their diversity programs had that effect. Also when a supply truck rolls in, cars crowd around it and block it's entry and exit.

The Refineries in NJ should be back on line. The ports are open. The roads are good and the trucks should have a clear path back into the city. Maybe some of the tunnels are still flooded, but the bridges are all fine. The army could step in, and create a clear path for fuel trucks, and improve their efficiency at the refineries.

I also see construction resuming on road improvement. These projects have been going on for the last 10 years. That could be delayed a bit longer and the same crews could be dispatched to neighborhoods where the power is still out. In Long Island, some places are looking at another week without power. It's cold.

Some neighborhoods suffered a lot due to flooding because they were shore front communities. The city doesn't want to open the bridges to Rockaway area and perhaps they are worried about looting. If their major concern is that people might hurt themselves, it would be in keeping with Bloomberg's other idiotic policies. People should be allowed to clean up their own homes.

I want to thank everyone for sending water. I will be staffing a medical shelter tonight and we can use bottled water for people there. I think the food being served is hospital type food so I am not sure where the donated food from outside NY would go. If they let Red Cross operate a facility this time, it will likely be used by some folks but I am not sure how much. I wouldn't send anything else.

There are elderly and very dependent people who were moved from nursing homes and they might have a more difficult time finding a place now. They can and should be moved to facilities outside NY area. Their insurance plans should accommodate this transfer and when the facilities here are rebuilt, they can be moved back.

The rest of the people can handle their own affairs. Mainly, the city should improve the power and fuel situation, and then allow folks to help themselves.

Rose said...

If some of the stories coming out on Drudge are any indication, this is a sad state of affairs. The east coasters had a chance to show the Katrina folks that it doesn't have to degenerate, that people can rise higher.

I tend to think there are those who do - and many great stories of people at the ground level helping each other. But grand political photo-ops and promises of immediate help do not improve fraying tempers.

Realistically though, I heard Guiliani say it was an outrage that the power wasn't up immediately, and he blamed it on lack of power plants.

It's NOT the power plants - it's that it physically takes time to set new power poles and lines and repair the damage that storms cause. It can certainly take more than 4 days. He should be more reasonable. Not create unrealistic expectations.